By Briana Nestor — Managing Editor
For sophomore Mariana Fernandez del Castillo, writing poetry captures the world around her.
“ The entire world is constantly having new ideas… Whether the poem is completely made up, or based on the news, or [on] something someone has told me, or about myself,” said Fernandez del Castillo. “I write poetry because it is a great way of externalizing my thoughts in a way that sometimes cannot be expressed otherwise.”
Her love for poetry began in seventh grade when her teacher assigned students to write poems based on class material. “The poems were not very good for the most part, but I really enjoyed writing,” said Fernandez del Castillo.
After the initial assignment, the teacher told the class she would compile students’ poetry in a book. “She said we could write more poetry if we wished. I did, and I was hooked,” said Fernandez del Castillo.
Her poems for the most part have stayed private, but that has changed. She represented Lasell at the Greater Boston Intercollegiate Undergraduate Poetry Festival on April 19 at Boston College. She read two poems, one of which was titled “Innocent Perfection” about a girl whose father was murdered on her seventh birthday. The opportunity for her to read an original work was unexpected, and Fernandez del Castillo was hesitant to enter.
“Submitting [my poem] was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I always wondered whether my poetry was any good, and this was the ultimate litmus test,” she said. “If I was not selected, I probably would have started to wonder whether I was any good at doing what I love.”
Miriam Reddicliffe, Professor of English, collected poetry submissions for judges. The panel chose Fernandez del Castillo’s work because “it was lyrical and moving, and brought the reader to a place to which he or she hadn’t traveled,” according to Reddicliffe.
“Lasell participates in the [Festival] every year,” said Reddicliffe. “[It] provides Lasell poets with an opportunity to read their poems to an interested audience, as well as the chance to meet poets from other colleges.” The Festival also annually publishes a book that contains one poem written by each participant.
Fernandez del Castillo does not have plans for her writing in the future, but will continue to write poetry. “Master artists, such as Michelangelo and Leonardo [da Vinci] came up with some of the most incredible pieces of artwork in human existence. If mere humans could create those works, then the possibilities for human creativity seem infinite,” she said. “That’s why I enjoy writing poetry.”